The first of three roundtables on the hours of service proposal being held by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration gets under way today and continues through tomorrow.
The first roundtable will fatigue research, the economic impact of the proposal, and enforcement.
FMCSA hopes the roundtable discussions scheduled over the next two weeks will help it get in-depth answers to fundamental questions about its bitterly contested proposal to reform the hours of service rules.
At each session, 20 or more invited participants will have a chance to answer questions in detail. Each session will focus on several specific hours of service issues. The sessions are open to the public, and members of the audience will be permitted to speak.
The sessions will be moderated by FMCSA Acting Assistant Administrator Julie Anna Cirillo, assisted by the agency's Regulatory Ombudsman, Nancy Bennett. Each roundtable will include FMCSA technical experts who will pose questions to help them evaluate the information. The agency emphasizes that these are not negotiating sessions.
After the comment period ends Dec. 15, and it has reviewed the full docket, the agency said it may to finalize all or part of the current proposal, it may issue a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking or it may gather more information.
The second roundtable will be Sept. 28-29, Washington, D.C., covering sleeper berth requirements, communications during rest periods, weekend rest and hours of work per day. The third will be Oct. 5-6, also in Washington, D.C., covering categories of operations, electronic onboard recorders and exemptions.